Now that the opening round of Championship matches for the 2022/23 season have nearly been concluded, we’ve seen all but two sides compete and kickstart their campaign in earnest.
This includes aspiring title chasers and the teams that will fight against relegation, and there’s no doubt that we’re in for a thrilling season in what remains one of Europe’s most competitive leagues.
In this post, we’ll take a look at three of the biggest takeaways from the opening weekend, while appraising the early movers and shakers in the Championship.
#1. Burnley Impress Under New Manager Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany experienced a superb EFL manager debut at the John Smith’s Stadium, as his new-look Burnley side produced a dominant 1-0 win at last season’s beaten play-off finalists Huddersfield Town.
The Clarets were almost unrecognisable when compared to their last line-up of the 2021/22 season, with the average age of the squad having been reduced considerably and players like Josh Cullen and Aro Muric making their competitive debuts for the club.
However, Burnley were outstanding and in control throughout in Yorkshire, taking an early lead through another debutant in the form of Ian Maatsen and retaining 70% possession overall.
Overall, Burnley showcased the same progressive passing and high pressing game that Kompany instilled at Anderlecht, while their combination of strong work ethic with a fluid passing game augurs well for the season ahead.
#2. There’s Not Much Between the 24 Sides
The biggest win over the opening Championship weekend was Millwall’s 2-0 win at home against Stoke City, while no team apart from the Lions and Hull City were able to score more than once.
There were also five drawn games, with only Watford’s home clash against Sheffield United to come at Vicarage Road on Monday night.
This suggests that this year’s Championship could prove to be more keenly contested than most, with little to separate the 24 sides and plenty of encouragement for any club with even modest Premier League aspirations.
#3. Promotion Hopefuls Hull City Start With a Win
While Hull City finished a disappointing 19th place finish in 2021/22, a productive summer transfer window has raised hopes that the club can do much better this season.
Such optimism will have been bolstered further by the 2-1 win at home against Bristol City this weekend (with Hull having come from behind to prevail with two goals in the final 18 minutes).
Two debutants were on the scoresheet at the MKM Stadium, with Turkish midfielder Ozan Tufan converting a penalty (after earlier hitting the post) and the influential former Fulham star Jean Michael Seri striking the winner four minutes into stoppage time.
It’s hard to imagine a better start for the Tigers, who continue to offer good value to punters at a price of 33/1 to win promotion. You can wager on this outcome having leveraged the Betright promo code, in order to ensure that you get the best value for money.
Of course, promotion or a play-off spot cannot be assured for any side in such a competitive league, but there remains a positive feeling around Hull after a promising pre-season.